Valentine’s Day: a day for celebrating love, showing people how you feel and spending lots of money on heart-shaped merchandise. Many people enjoy Valentine’s Day and spend weeks waiting in anticipation for it to arrive. However, not everyone has this same feeling of joy when it comes to this grotesque holiday of love. Many people, in fact, think that Valentine’s Day is a waste of time and money and that the holiday is completely overdone. Well, today – this is my mission. Are these cynics right that Valentine’s day is no better than the plague? Or is the holiday more than that, despite its materialistic appearance? I guess we will have to take a look and see …
The Cynical outlook: There are many reasons why the cynics of the world, and even regular people who are not cynical by nature, think that Valentine’s day is a holiday that is overdone. From negative feelings and memories to the overabundance in commercialisation, it’s no wonder that many don’t hold candles up for this day. Here are a few reasons why:
The holiday is the highlight for consumerism – it’s all about money
We’ve barely recovered from the Christmas season and have only just gotten back into work, and now most companies are throwing it into our face that we need to start spending more money again. They say that money makes the world go around and that becomes clear on Valentine’s day because, instead of it being about love, it is about how much money you can spend. Forgive me for saying this, but when the holiday becomes more about the purchases, and the focus is on companies trying to sell us cliched gifts, then I think the point of the day has been swallowed.
There is so much pressure to dial up the romance, especially on the men
Because of all the expectations that come with the holiday, it all of a sudden becomes nothing more than an anxiety-inducing month of stress. Women all over the world (I am generalising so, please don’t take this personally) usually expect their significant others to pull out all of the stops: flowers, chocolates, romantic dates and grand gestures to show undying love. Why is this fair? Why are the men expected to make the holiday what it is and why so much pressure to make it the most romantic day of the year? By putting all the emphasis on men having to deliver, we (as women) go back in time to saying that men are responsible for making us feel loved. If you are so keen to feel loved and adored on Valentine’s Day, then either make plans yourself or buy your own chocolate. That way you don’t have to share it.
It is just another day in the year
A friend of mine told me “Why do I need one day in the year to be romantic? If I am in a relationship, I will be romantic all the time or bring flowers just because. Not because it is Valentine’s Day. It’s just another day in the calendar so why must I change the way I behave on a day to day basis for 24 hours?”. I can’t help but agree with them. Just because it is Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t mean you have to shake up your entire world to show someone you care. If you do want to be romantic, you’ll do it on any day just because. You shouldn’t need to have an excuse to be romantic.
It’s a slap in the face for people who don’t have plans or are single
If we happen to be single on Valentine’s Day or haven’t made plans, the world seems to make a point of proving to you just how lonely you are. No matter where you go, people seem to be giving each other goo-goo eyes or having a good time, and it just makes your own situation sting and feel twice as bad. (It doesn’t have to be this way though – you can read my post Being Single on Valentine’s Day for more on why being single on this day isn’t so bad)
Hide your wallets, because Valentine’s Day isn’t for the broke
If you haven’t realised it already, everything seems to be double the price during the Valentines season. Besides the fact that gifts seem to be quite taxing on the monthly income (because of flowers, chocolates and more), restaurants seem to up their prices on this night specifically. So if you are trying to save up for something, I’d recommend staying on lockdown on the 14th of Feb.
Most people have at least one unpleasant childhood Valentines memories
Am I the only one who was humiliated during school by having my dreams crushed by a tactless Valentine? I don’t think so because even if you escaped your childhood free of trauma from this event, I’m sure that everyone has had at least one depressing Valentine’s Day. Breakups, crushed dreams, bad dates – we don’t get a free pass on Valentine’s Day
There is always someone who has more Valentines than you
Do you recall that person in the office who just seemed to get dozens and dozens of roses on Valentine’s Day? Or that one person at school who always seemed to get more secret admirers than you ever thought possible? No matter where you are on Valentine’s Day, there always seems to be someone who gets more Valentines, and when compared to the amount you get, it can just be another reason that ruins your day.
Now with all of these cynical perspectives and points, you might be thinking that there is nothing positive about this day at all or that I’m one of the anti-Valentine clan members. This is not true. While all of these points have their validity, that doesn’t mean that you have to write off the entire day as a marketing ploy. There are also many positives to extract from Valentine’s Day – it all just depends on how you choose to look at the holiday.
It’s an excuse to get dressed up
No matter what type of person you are, whether you are single or in a relationship, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse for you to get dressed up. The benefit is that you won’t feel out of place, mixed up with all the people going out themselves, and it is a way of treating yourself and not necessarily the person you are with.
Chocolate, sugar and more chocolate
Yes, this is not the ideal time to be healthy in the year or be focused on your diet because of the easy access to sugar. But, if you happen to love all things sweet and sugary and are looking for a relatively inexpensive way to treat yourself, then this is the perfect time of year to do it. Plus, if you have the patience to wait until February 15th, you can get all of those confectionary treats at a major discount. That sounds like a double bonus to me.
You get to be sweet, sappy and romantic with no judgement
I’m the type of person who loves cheesy cards and sappy romance (yes my favourite novel genre is romance – guilty as charged) so if you enjoy being sweet and romantic then do it. You can be as sappy and love-obsessed as you want and no one can judge you because it is Valentine’s Day and most people are their own versions of sappy and romantic.
You get to treat your loved ones (not just boyfriends/girlfriends etc.)
If you owe your girlfriends a night out or have been meaning to take your partner out for Date Night, then today is your lucky day. You can spoil them in the ‘season’s’ gifts or simply take them out for a fun evening. Yes, you don’t need Valentine’s Day to show people you care, but it is a day where you are allowed by society to go over the top in showing those you love how much you care. Why not take advantage of it?
It’s a day to celebrate love
Just because the holiday has become a huge blowout and a commercialised mess, that shouldn’t detract from what the day is meant to be about. While the history of Valentine’s Day is not necessarily romantic, it has grown into a day where we show the people in our lives how much we love them. You don’t have to go overboard when it comes to the gifts or the romantic outings, but this day is an opportunity to show your partners, families, friends and even pets how much you care about them. This holiday is actually perfect for those who may not be confident enough to plan romantic activities out of the blue because, on Valentine’s Day, you can just be another person loving someone else without any form of judgement.
So there you have it – the full overview (from my perspective) on Valentine’s Day. Yes, the cynic may have some good points but so does the optimist. The truth is that neither is right and neither is wrong because it all depends on how you choose to spend the day. Yes, I know that that sounds like a line from a cheesy, motivational greeting card but it is true. If you’re the kind of person that sees Valentine’s Day as just another day, then go with that, but if you like to go all out with the romance, then nothing is stopping you. It’s your day to make it what you want, but whatever you choose to make it, I hope you all have a fantastic February 14th.
As always thank you so much for reading this blog post – I really hope you enjoyed it. Which one are you? The cynic or the optimist? Also, if you have any opinions on the day or fun stories to share, please share it in the comments section and if you liked the blog post as much as I enjoyed writing it, then please don’t forget to like it, subscribe so you don’t miss any future posts and share with your friends so our small community can grow.
I love you all
Blondey on a Mission xxx